Anri Sala Germany
1395 Days without Red intertwines a daily rehearsal of the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra
with a musician crossing the besieged city on her way to it. While a series of difficulties with
the tempo interrupt the orchestra’s run-through of the First Movement of Tchaikovsky’s
Pathetique, the woman’s progress through the city is halted by a succession of streetcrossings
that the siege has turned into probable dead-ends.
The film makes reference to the 1395 days of the siege of Sarajevo, when wearing red or
bright colors risked attracting the attention of the snipers.
At each crossing she stops, holds her breath and continues. After each she catches her
breath and resumes. Breathing withheld, breathing released: portions of time that evolve
into measures of humming that enable her to carry on. She runs through the music while
crossing the city. She runs through the city while rehearsing the music in her head.
Like an improbable score, where two instruments respond to different stimuli while playing
in tempo with each other, her humming and the orchestra synthesize into one tune, a tune
of continuance and persistence against the odds.